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Earth tone is a color scheme that can have multiple meanings. It can refer to "any color containing brown", like the ground or the soil, or just "natural colors", like green leaves, a cloudy sky, a glowing sun, or a mud-baked earth. Earth tones are the muted colors of the earth, representing all that is natural in the grand color scheme. When used in your home, earth tones can keep things grounded, tying together different colors and materials with ease. 

Many earth colors are ancient colors and several of them were originally created from earth or ground clay.  Earth tones are the colors of the soil used in prehistoric cave paintings. Ochre is the earliest known pigment used by humans dating back 300,000 years. Earth tones were also commonly used during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and painters used these colors to create realistic artwork. Several classic earth tones are named for the area where the pigment was found, like umber shades from Umbria or burnt sienna from Sienna. 

Looking for the perfect earth tone for your kitchen? Check out our Big Chill custom color swatch for over 200 custom colors options. 

1.) Ochre 

Ochre is a natural clay pigment that ranges in color from yellow to deep orange or brown. The color ochre is a light brownish-yellow, naturally warming any space you add it to. Use ochre in your kitchen on cabinets or walls, pairing with raw surfaces like wood or stone. An ochre colored appliance also adds a vintage touch to your kitchen, looking stylish and unexpected when paired with crisp white walls or subway tiles.

Diptic (81)Diptic (82)Diptic (80)Diptic (84)Diptic (83)IMG_4797Big Chill custom appliance colors from left to right: 1024 Ochre Yellow, 1027 Curry, 1005 Honey Yellow

2.) Olive Green

Olive green is a dark or light yellowish-green color, much like that of (you guessed it) green olives, either ripe or unripe. Using olive green in your home is a classic choice, adding an earthy yet nuanced pop of green to any space. In your kitchen, olive green pairs well with an assortment of colors and materials. Paint countertops olive green and pair with raw wooden countertops for a rustic feel, or paint a wall olive green and pair with classic subway tiles. You can even use an olive green appliance for a vintage touch that is still current and sophisticated.

Diptic (92)Diptic (88)Diptic (91)Diptic (90)Diptic (89)IMG_4804Big Chill custom appliance colors from left to right: 6003 Olive Green, 6006 Grey Olive, 7002 Olive Gray, 8008 Olive Brown

3.) Terracotta

Terracotta is a strong brownish-red or brownish-orange color, typically used in earthenware or as an ornamental building material. In your kitchen, terracotta is typically found on floors tiles, providing a rustic look that is timeless and versatile. Terracotta colored paint also looks good on kitchen walls, providing a warm background to a variety of surfaces and accessories. 

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Big Chill custom appliance colors from left to right: 2001 Red Orange, 2012 Salmon Orange, 2010 Signal Orange

4.) Burnt Umber

Umber is natural brown or reddish-brown earth pigment. It's its raw form, it is called raw umber, that is normally dark-yellowish brown in color. When heated, the color becomes more intense and becomes a dark roasted brown color called burnt umber. Burnt umber provides a dark and sophisticated contrast to your kitchen. Use burnt umber on kitchen cabinets and pair with milky-white subway tiles for an inviting combination, or pair an unexpected dark brown appliance with a crisp white kitchen for a sophisticated contrast.Diptic (85)Diptic (86)Diptic (87)IMG_4815Big Chill custom appliance colors from left to right: 8011 Nut Brown, 8014 Sepia Brown, 8017 Chocolate Brown

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